Being more than a way for individuals to share experiences and opinions, blogs are a tool for potential customers to gain personal insights from a vast number of product and service users. The potential impact of blogs on buyer behavior can be huge – in a positive or negative way.
Five years ago Kryptonite bike locks experienced the extreme blog-gone-bad episode when an individual posted in a group discussion site for bicycle enthusiasts that the Kryptonite bike lock could be easily picked with a pen. Shortly after that posting videos began showing up that demonstrated the problem. Kryptonite’s initial lame response stated that the lock was still a “deterrent to theft”. But their statement did not deter yet more bloggers from writing about the issue and sharing their experiences. In the first week on one day it was estimated that about 1.8 million people saw postings regarding the lock’s weakness. Ten days later Kryptonite was forced to announce that it would exchange any old affected lock for a newly redesigned one – for free. It has been estimated that move cost Kryptonite 100,000 new locks and more than $10 million.
With an estimated 23,000 new blogs started around the globe each day their impact on companies marketing programs and on buyer behavior is growing rapidly. Everbearing Services along with other marketing consultants advise that every company should have someone or some source whose role it is to search and monitor what customers are saying.
Companies should create their own blogs and take advantage of blogs growing influence. But when doing so do not try to hide your companies’ identity behind the blog. It is not ethical to do so and can have economic consequences. Mazda got caught trying this. They crafted a blog by a fake 22-year-old hipster in an effort to reach young car buyers. They posted three expensively-made videos that were a tip-off of their ploy. Due to the criticism Mazda received in the first three days on auto enthusiast blogs they pulled the site.
The lesson learned, don’t fudge or lie on blogs. The negative reaction received overwhelmed their original intention. When business blogging keep in mind that you are dealing with a powerful force – real people’s opinions!
Everbearing Services understands that business owners can be overwhelmed by the time commitment, lack of manpower, and the skill required in marketing via the web and the new social media. We can lend you an expert and experienced hand of support. The particular set of services we recommend varies with each business according to their needs and goals.